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Emotional safety during examinations

Mid-year exams have begun and with crunch time comes emotional upheaval. However, it is manageable and should not deter you from the end-goal of succeeding in your studies while maintaining high mental health standards.

“The exam period is a time when stress and anxiety levels are higher than usual. Stress can be positive and help you stay motivated and focused. However, too much stress can be unhelpful and can make you feel overwhelmed, confused, exhausted and edgy,” says Dr Melissa Barnaschone, Director of Student Counselling and Development at the University of the Free State (UFS).

According to Helpguide.Org: Trusted guide to mental & emotional health, “Mental and emotional health is about being happy, self-confident, self-aware, and resilient. People who are mentally healthy are able to cope with life’s challenges and recover from setbacks. But mental and emotional health requires knowledge, understanding, and effort to maintain. If your mental health isn’t as solid as you’d like it to be, here’s the good news: there are many things you can do to boost your mood, build resilience, and get more enjoyment out of life.”

For further details on topics including: Building Better Mental Health, Emotional Intelligence Toolkit, Benefits of Mindfulness, Improving Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cultivating Happiness, visit the Help Guide. 

Dr Barnaschone has a few tips on how Kovsies can better approach academic anxiety during the examination period. Here is what she has to say:

News Archive

Remain positive, keep an eye on the finish line
2016-11-08

Description: Academic Reboot Pack 2.0    Tags: Academic Reboot Pack 2.0

Dealing with anxiety can be daunting.
There are methods to help and assist
with your anxiety.

Photo: iStock

No one is immune to anxiety, and the current challenging academic times are no exception. With the Academic Reboot Pack 2.0, the University of the Free State (UFS) addresses these adversities.

Dealing with anxiety differently

People react to anxiety differently. For some it’s like a dark tunnel with no light at the end, while it keeps others on their toes. Regardless of how you deal with it, it is still an unpleasant emotion.

“For me, it (anxiety) makes me more determined to do well, so that I can start the next part of my life as soon as possible,” said Greg Butters, a postgraduate BCom Accounting student at the UFS.

Ways to manage and overcome

There are different ways to manage anxiety. Here are some methods that can assist you in dealing with it:

Keep the following in mind when you are feeling anxious:

  • Realise that anxiety is an amplified response to stress.
  • Face your anxiety head-on.
  • Do not add to your anxiety by thinking about what "might" happen. If you find yourself asking "What if?" tell yourself "So what!"

Where to get the right help

It is also important to know that there is help. When you feel that anxiety is affecting you negatively, pick up a phone and call one of the following departments:

 

  • Medical Practice                                +27 51 401 2603
  • Qwaqwa Campus Clinic                    +27 58 718 5210
  • Sports and Exercise Medicine Clinic  +27 51 401 2530
  • First Aid                                             +27 51 401 3325
  • Emergencies (After hours) - ER 24   0800 051 051 or 084 124

You can also contact the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG) 24-hour helpline. SADAG has various helplines that can help you deal with anxiety and depression.

Get your copy of the Academic Reboot Pack 2.0 on  Blackboardunder announcements or click here to download it.

Also see the first Academic Reboot Pack.

If students have any question or queries regarding the Academic Reboot Pack, they can send an email to: advising@ufs.ac.za.

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